Sweet Freedom gluten free mince pie recipe


Yesterday we featured a recipe for homemade mince pies made with Sweet Freedom – a great ingredient which can be used instead of sugar. Here’s a gluten free version.

Check yesterday’s post for the mincemeat recipe.

Makes 20-22

150g Quinoa Flour
150g Rice Flour
130g Butter, diced
70g Ground Almonds
½ Tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
40g Sweet Freedom Original
50ml Cold Water
2 Medium Free Range Egg Yolks

500g-550g Mincemeat

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Fan 150C.
2. Place the flours into a bowl with the butter.  Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Mix in the ground almonds and baking powder.  Next, add the remaining ingredients and cut them into the flour with a knife, then bring the pastry together into a ball with your hands.
3. Take two thirds of the pastry and roll out thinly between two sheets of cling film.  Using the larger cutter, cut out rounds and use them to line the bun tray.  Fill with mincemeat and then roll out the remaining pastry, again between cling film, and cut out rounds with the smaller cutter.  Place the lids on the pies and lightly press down with the palm of your hand to seal them.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.  Leave to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack.


Sweet Freedom Mincemeat and Mince Pie recipe


Homemade mincemeat tastes worlds apart from shop bought.

Here is a recipe with no added sugar but naturally sweetened with Sweet Freedom syrup (which is made 100% from fruit).


Makes just over 1kg

200g Sultanas
175g Raisins
150g Currants
100g Shredded Vegetable Suet
Zest & Juice of 1 Orange
Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tsp Mixed Spice
½ Tsp Ground Cloves
½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
175g Sweet Freedom Dark
300g Bramley Apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice (prepared weight)
50ml Brandy

1. Mix together all the ingredients, apart from the brandy, in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and leave overnight in a cool place.
2. Preheat the oven to 110C/Fan 90C.
3. The next day, place the dish in the preheated oven for 3 hours.  Remove from the oven, add the brandy and then leave to cool, stirring every now and again. When the mincemeat is cold pack into sterilised jars and store in a cool place until required.


Makes 24

225g Butter, at room temperature but not soft
75g Sweet Freedom Original
375g Plain Flour
3 Medium Free Range Egg Yolks

600g Mincemeat

You will need two 12 hole bun trays and two round fluted cutters measuring 8cm (3″) and 6.5cm (2½”)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C.
2. Dice the butter and add to a mixing bowl with the Sweet Freedom.  Beat together the butter and Sweet Freedom and then add the plain flour and egg yolks.  Mix until a soft dough forms.  Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball.  Chill until firm enough to roll.
3. Take two thirds of the pastry and roll out thinly, cut out rounds with the larger cutter and use them to line the bun trays.  Fill the pies with mincemeat, then roll out the remaining pastry and cut out rounds with the smaller cutter.  Place the lids on each of the pies and lightly press down with the palm of your hand to seal them.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.  Leave to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack.

The Jackson Bar, flapjacks for the discerning adult

I’m taking a second look at The Jackson Bars.

Popular flapjacks with honey and fruit juice in the ingredients rather than processed sugar. The advantage of this is that a more natural source of glucose means a slower energy release rather than leaving you with massive sweet cravings.

Plus, being made by a family firm like Baileys Real Food Company, means they also do things like avoid trans fats and other such rubbish.

Flapjacks just got a bit more naughty
Flapjacks just got a bit more… …naughty

But what’s really getting me interested is that I initially thought these were simply flapjacks for kids. Now, when I look at some of the ingredients I realise these flapjacks offer a lot of adult fun too.

Consider these Jackson Bars for example:

The Naughty One  – an oat bar with seeds, chocolate and marshmallow
The Hot Spicy One – an oat bar with seeds, ginger and chilli

Too much fun in a flapjack to leave it to the kids don’t you think?

Their other bars: The Lovers One (made with seeds, real cherries and whole almonds), The Nutty One, The Tropical One, and The Original One are more run-of-the-mill flavours, but taken altogether these flapjacks definitely seem more like the kind of treat that deserves to be nibbled by the discerning adult.

Have a dairy free countdown to Christmas

If you’re dairy intolerant it needn’t put a dampener on Christmas preparations… 

Plamil have come up with two yummy dairy free and gluten free Advent Calendars with 24 chocolates… I mean, days to countdown with.

Dairy free Advent Calendars
Dairy free Advent Calendars from Plamil

The first is an organic and fairtrade dairy free calendar which, according to our GoodnessDirect manager, Faith, tastes very much like milk chocolate. It’s a great alternative for those who love milk chocolate but can’t have any.

The other Plamil calendar (also dairy free) comes with no added sugar – but is sweetened with xylitol instead. This one is 70% cocoa, so it’s perfect for those who like their chocolate a little bit darker.

Plamil is proud to be a nut free and vegan outlet so you can reliably buy from them with an easy conscience.

Enjoy the best in jams from St Dalfour

What happens when you combine fine gourmet cooking with unadulterated preservative free ingredients?

St Dalfour, the French food company have a good idea. They are dedicated to producing natural foods, so it’s no surprise how popular their products are in the UK, particularly the fruit conserves.

Rhapsodie de Fruit from St Dalfour
Rhapsodie de Fruit from St Dalfour

The 100% fruit spreads are rich with luscious whole fruit and sweetened only with grapefruit juice – not one artificial preservative or additive in sight.

Now, for your enjoyment, St Dalfour have put together a gift set ‘Rhapsody of Fruit’: Cranberry with Blueberry, Orange and Ginger, and Strawberry – all with no added sugar.

A trinity of the finest preserves, a combination of the simplist ingredients – all for your good pleasure.

Low fat, low sugar and gluten free cakes!

A friend of mine used to make low fat cakes which I really loved.

They were basically made of fruit and, while I can’t quite remember how she got the ingredients to bond together, the result was blissful.

A low fat Granny Loaf Cake
A low fat Granny Loaf Cake

Now, it seems there’s someone doing it professionally, two people actually, Jenkins& Hustwit, who make a Granny Loaf Fruit Cake which has less than 2% fat.

The company, started by a couple of farmer’s wives in Northumbria, promises the very best in good old-fashioned farmhouse baking. They specialise in high quality cakes and puddings, and even make Christmas puddings, so there’s something to look forward to.

It should be noted that they also make gluten free cakes and no added sugar cakes, but we’re still writing up all the details at GoodnessDirect. Exciting stuff nonetheless.

Hooray for wholenut smooth peanut butter

I’m not sure why I’m so chuffed about Meridian’s smooth natural peanut butter. I’ve long been a fan of the wholenut crunchy version but, I guess, not everyone can take all that nuttiness.

Good wholesome peanut butter
Good wholesome peanut butter

So it’s a good thing there’s a smooth version out there in both the 280g jar and the whopping kilo bucket. Meridian’s natural peanut butter with no added sugar tastes so much better than those more sickly sweet versions.

Incidentally to show Meridian’s sense of humour I came across this article from their news page and I thought I’d share it here.

If you love nut butters as much as the team here at Meridian Foods, you’ll regularly face the challenge of cleaning out the jars before recycling.

Determined to provide a credible solution, we’ve been conducting experiments, researching ideas and consulting our friendly experts. Before we pass on our answer to one of the stickiest of questions in the kitchen, take a look at some of the other considerations below.

Don’t bother – Some recycling experts believe it is futile to spend energy and waste water trying to thoroughly clean nut butter jars. When glass jars are recycled they are subjected to a heat treatment process that exceeds 2700 degrees. Not even Meridian’s organic whole nut butters can withstand such an attack.

Get saucy – A popular way to use up the last of the nut butter is to combine it with other ingredients in the jar as a final act of delicious thriftiness. If you love to use peanut butter to make a savoury sauce or dressing, try this approach from the Paid in Full blog. It’s packed full of frugal ideas.

Pooch power (do not try this at home) – Apparently dogs love nut butters, though we can’t imagine that it should be a regular feature of their diet. Several contributors to online forums report that they give their dogs the empty peanut butter jars to clean up before a final wash out with soapy water. This may give satisfaction to a dog with a generous snout but imagine the frustration it would cause a pug! Not recommended.

OK, enough of the doggie-style fun. Here’s our recipe for success to clean out your peanut butter jars.

Step 1.          Pour in around 4 tablespoons (60ml) of spirit/white vinegar into the empty jar

Step 2.          Add water from a freshly boiled kettle and top up the jar so it’s two thirds full

Step 3.          Replace the lid, shake vigorously, then leave to stand for a few minutes

Step 4.          Repeat step 3 a few times while the water/vinegar solution is still hot

Step 5.          Rinse and recycle the jar

If this solution has worked for you or if you’ve got other great nut butter, recycling or domestics tips to share, email us and we’ll post up the best ones for others to see.